Friday was a heartbreaking day. I obviously wrote the previous post before we got the tragic news of those lost precious young children and the Principal, School Psychologist, and Teachers who lost their lives trying to protect them. It is certainly a reminder that in all my writing about what has really been going on in education and what the actual intended goals are, well-intentioned, brave adults are being manipulated in all this to be Inadvertent Agents of Change. Many are unaware of what the actual goals are and any past history. Or they are Intentional Agents of Change but nothing in their background could possibly alert them to the gravity of what is being attempted via education.
I cannot let the topic of what is planned go. After all, for a history geek the phrase “general objectives of a spiritual, philosophic and cultural nature reflecting a certain idea of mankind” coupled with taxpayer money and an unaccountable bureaucrat in charge of obtaining the sought transformation is akin to waving a red flag in front of a bull. He wants to charge and gore. I want to find a helpful anecdote to illustrate the consequences and write. But being graphic so soon after Friday’s tragedy about what I know about Connecticut education and how long Outcomes Based Education has been ramping up the transformational summit there and then comparing what I know from my other examinations of similar tragic events will wait for another day.
I have a strong insights and lots of hard evidence that we must consider in time. Before these schemes and policies and procedures are fully nationalized. But not today. I have gone back though and pulled two older posts that many of you may never have seen. I would like for you just to contemplate the kind of mental and emotional manipulation that has been going on with political aims in mind. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/real-change-will-require-new-values-and-new-ways-of-thinking-or-social-engineering-is-hard/ is based on a March 2012 aspirational article in Scientific American. I also would like you to appreciate that the five basic shifts in human thinking proposed and quoted in that post left the planning stages quite a long time ago in many school districts. Let that reality sink in.
Then I would like you to read http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/priming-delicate-minds-for-a-desired-disruptive-revolution-what-is-the-real-damage/ from early August and begin to appreciate just how Orwellian and manipulative the term “Best Practice” actually is. One of the solutions already being raised for shooting rampages apart from gun control is better Moral and Character Education. Both those terms have been hijacked by political radicals to mean changing values, attitudes, and beliefs through the classroom to again gain a collectively-oriented political and economic Transformation. That post will help you have the proper skepticism that the proposed solution will likely create more of the problem. And appreciate how subtle and mostly out of sight Bill Ayers’ activities really are.
As I so often do, I sought this past weekend’s solace and insights in history and decided to tackle John V Fleming’s The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books that Shaped the Cold War. I thought I was taking a break but it turned into a real lesson on the importance of the “psychological mechanism of belief” as a prominent topic in all the autobiographies of the former Communists. In choosing freedom they had to examine all of their prevailing beliefs. Instilled from an early age. They each recognized and wrote about how it is beliefs that drove their actions and beliefs are not opinions. That really caught my eye.
All those former Communists recognize that beliefs must be confronted if they are to live in freedom. And the schemers who want to use education to gain a more collectivist 21st century society not grounded in Individualism or Capitalism keep referring to “changing values, attitudes, and beliefs” as the Outcomes Based Education mantra phrased it.
(Brief aside to reiterate, that OBE goal is now safely tucked out of sight for the most part in the 2012 poorly understood definition of what constitutes Learning and Student Growth and Achievement. Seriously if I did not know this already, it would be almost impossible to find. That was the idea.)
So like Values but less limited in number, Beliefs drive behavior. Frequently at an unconscious level. Very useful to control of you want to change society. False beliefs and tragic values can still be highly influential. Here are a few of the false beliefs these Communists had been taught to passionately believe. It’s not too much different from what many K-12 and higher ed students are today being led to believe.
“They believed that capitalism was immoral, indeed criminal, in its ‘exploitation of man by man.’ From its very nature capitalism was the cause of conflict, slavery, oppression, and human misery of every kind. The remedy was for them as certain as was the nature of the pathology and its diagnosis. The remedy was ‘socialism’. Just as in the seventeenth century Isaac Newton had for the first time in human history understood and explained the laws of the physical world, so also for the first time in human history had Karl Marx understood and explained the laws of the social world. . . The believed the USSR was a shining beacon, and the harbinger of socialism in the world. They believed the Western democracies were rotten to the core. They believed that the Sovietization of Eastern Europe was the historical equivalent of proletarian revolution, and that it was bringing the blessings of socialism to millions. Imperialist forces, headed by the United States, were actively preparing to initiate a war against the Soviet Union.”
All that strikes us in the West, especially from the vantage point of the 21st century and not the late 1940s, as stunningly false. Unbelievable. And the part I left out about the US and Britain being Sluggish and unreliable World War 2 allies? hits us as ungrateful and ignorant. But beliefs filter reality and each event in the real world was perceived through these set of beliefs as well as the fostered values of Community first. Submission to the wisdom of the Leader. It took quite a long time to reassess such a belief system.
Still does. Which is why creating a useful belief system was the goal of the Catholic Church in the MIddle Ages and the Communists in the 20th. It is also apparently why Ralph Tyler originally created Learning Objectives, which his student and good friend turned into Outcomes Based Education. Which is now called Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and has been incorporated into both the SBAC and PARCC Common Core assessments. Scheming ideas never go away. They simply get new masking names like Higher Order Thinking Skills.
My other weekend diversion of research did not go as planned either. The Teacher’s Workbook for the Facing History curriculum I wrote about in concern here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/changing-the-filtering-perception-the-way-we-see-the-world-is-key/ came. And I was right to be concerned. If ever a curriculum was designed to foster hate (by fostering false equivalence between 19th century blacks in the US and what happened to the Jews in Germany) and drive future political action and create a false and dangerous belief system it is Facing History.
But what is easy for me to see as a history devotee would be difficult for the typical student or teacher to accurately perceive. They will become, as intended, passionately aggrieved. Under the delusion that Fascism has to be about race and involves a dictator. Taught to believe that Propaganda was what the Germans did to the Hitler Youth, not false attribution of historical causes in order to incite their passions.
As I said in that previous post Totalitarianism is a dangerous thing to misapprehend. I did appreciate the quote though of Hannah Arendt, right before introducing the great evil of Adolph Hitler to the students for the first time. Arendt is quoted as saying:
“Of all the forms of political organization that do not permit freedom, only totalitarianism consciously seeks to crowd out the ability to think. Man cannot be silenced, he can only be crowded into not speaking. Under all other conditions, even within the racing noise of our time, thinking is possible.”
Well, everything about OBE under whatever name it goes by and the Facing History curriculum and what we have been chronicling on this blog seeks to “crowd out the ability to think” in the sense Arendt meant as Totalitarian. Yet by including that quote and constantly using the term “thinking” to mean merely expressing an opinion or emotional beliefs and all that reflecting in journals, we are priming students to believe they are free.
When they are not in the least. And that false Belief System and reworked values designed to prompt political action at an unconscious level is the Whole Idea of these Reforms.
We live in interesting times. We will have to continue to look at where this created false belief system and SEL student-centered classroom have been and are going.
We need to stop using the classroom to create an obedient mind to make gulags unnecessary and stealth control possible.